The USPS is going to be capitalizing on the success of recent promotion and incentive programs. This Holiday Shopping Promotion is a continuation of the mobile barcode incentives. This promo is a short term (November 7-21, 2012) marketing strategy designed to provide a link between physical mail and mobile commerce.

64% of smartphone owners now use their phones to shop online. Timed to lead up to "Black Friday", "Small Business Saturday", and "Cyber Monday" holiday season sales, this promotion will provide a means to access online retail shopping sites, as mobile functionality improves, and more stores are mobile enabled and enhanced.

There are two ways to save on postage via this promotion. For First Class and Standard Mail, mailers can receive an upfront 2% postage discount, much like the previous promotions. There are requirements for the mobile barcode and how it enables mobile shopping. If items are purchased via the smartphone, and the retailer uses Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation to fulfill the order, the mailer can receive an additional 1% discount.

One caveat to be careful of - there is a difference between Mobile-friendly and mobile-optimized. Mobile friendly simply means the website is made to fit in the smaller smartphone screen. Mobile-optimized provides a different version of a website, one designed specifically for smartphone use. Only Mobile-optimized sites will qualify for the promotion. Be sure to read all the requirements here (Program 2):

With a little advance planning and attention to detail, participation can be a win win for both the mailer and the USPS. The holidays are right around the corner, be ready.